How Real Estate Listings Differ

Real estate listings are contracts between sellers and the brokers who sell their homes. With all the different kinds of real estate listings, it can be confusing to know which one is best. Several factors affect the type of real estate listing you should select. When deciding on a type of listing, it’s important you understand how the main types differ and your particular needs.

The Four Main Types of Real Estate Listings

The exclusive right to sell listing

This listing, which is the most common one, gives an agent total control over a transaction. In this agreement, your agent receives a commission even if another agent sells your home.  In almost all cases this will be the type of agreement your agent will ask for and you should seriously considering giving it to them if you are confident about the agent and your market simply because they are most motivated to sell if they know they control the listing and are going to get 100% of the commission.

You should apply a time limit to the listing, usually 6 to 8 weeks, which should be enough time for them to sell your property in a good market.  After the limit expires the contract usually reverts to an open listing.

Exclusive agency listing

In this type of listing, a broker represents you, but you keep the right to sell your house by yourself, meaning  you don’t have to pay a commission. On the other hand, you’ll have to pay a commission if your broker is the one finding the buyer. This type of listing is a good choice if you’ve already found a buyer. Agents usually avoid taking an exclusive agency listing because they lack control.

Open listing

This is the one that’s the most wide-open listing as it gives sellers the right to sell their homes by themselves. Sellers pay a commission to a broker only if the broker secures a buyer for them. Commissions are only about half the cost of other types of listings. However, most agents refuse to handle open listings as sellers can find buyers by themselves or get out of their listings without notifying brokers.

This type of listing is usually only applied after an exclusive listing period has expired or it is often in smaller markets where agents are dealing with the same buyers.

It’s not usually recommended because the agent will not be very motivated to favour your property over the other properties they will have listed as exclusives.

Multiple listing

Also called an MLS listing, this type uses the internet to display listing data and photos of properties for sale. The advantage of an MLS listing is that home buyers get to study what’s available on the market within the comforts of their own homes. Thus, this increases the odds of having someone buy your house. A disadvantage is that it cost more out-of-pocket money than selling your house yourself.


If you’re not in a rush to sell your home and want to save as much money as you can, then an open listing may be a good choice.

An exclusive agency listing may be the best one for you if you’re too busy to be concerned with the details of selling your property.


Written by Staff Writers, edited by Peter Spann

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About Peter Spann


Business Builder

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“Wealth Magic: From Broke to Multi-millionaire in Just 7 Years” – translated into seven languages, and was a best seller | “How to Build a $10 Million Property Portfolio in 10 Years” |“Little Pot of Gold” | Soon to be released: Ticket to Freedom


Peter Spann is a passionate presenter on the topics of Business, Investing, and Success Skills

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Generate monthly cash income from blue chip shares.  Reduce risk from investing in the share market.  Build long term growth.  Build in protection for market falls.  Peter Spann teaches you a strategy he became renowned for – The Buy Write (or as he prefers to call it – the Cash Cow).  It combines Blue Chip Shares and Options to generate premium (income or yield) that can be used as monthly income, growth building or protection buffering for your share portfolio.  Boost your yield, lower your risks.

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30 years experience in business:

  • Marketing – Award winning copywriter – Australia’s Number One ringing Yellow Pages ad
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He has had the privilege to serve on the boards and advised a number of private and public entities.

He is listed in ‘Who’s Who’ Queensland Edition, and his charity, Fox Smile helps underprivileged children with health and education.

He is well known for his inspirational seminars and films on life success, business, wealth creation and personal development. His goal is to help people reach their full potential.

His personal interests include travel, boating, aviation, fine art, writing, and film.

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Important note and Disclaimer:

This publication is not investment advice.  It is intended for wide distribution and then only to inform and illustrate.

This article has been prepared without taking account of any particular investor’s objectives, financial situation or needs. An investor should, before making any investment decisions, consider the appropriateness of the information in this article, and seek professional advice, having regard to the investor’s objectives, financial situation and needs.

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

While every care has been taken in the preparation of this article, the publisher and Peter Spann make no representations or warranties, express or implied as to the accuracy or completeness of any statement in it including, without limitation, any forecasts.

The publishers and author expressedly disclaim all responsibility for any errors in or omissions from the information contained in this publication including all liability for any loss of damage suffered or incurred by any person as a result of or arising from that people placing any reliance, whether whole or in part upon the whole or any part of the contents of this publication.

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